The impact of the Great Recession was far-reaching. Although the economy has started to improve in recent years, things aren’t the way they used to be. This is true for teens as well as adults. The teen labor force is a complicated matter, with a lot of different factors contributing to the current summer employment reality. Let’s take a closer look at a few facts pertaining to summer jobs for teens in 2015.
(Photo Credit: justine-reyes/Flickr)
1. There are more job opportunities for teens this summer than in recent years.
Several indicators suggest that teens looking for summer work have more opportunities than they’ve had since 2007. The latest statistics on employment from the U.S. Department of Labor show an improvement in the unemployment rates of 16- to 19-year-olds. Unemployment was 23.9 percent a year ago, and this year it’s 21.4 percent. Last summer, 50.7 percent of teens were employed, and this summer, 51.9 percent have jobs. Things are slowly starting to pick up.
2. Young summer job seekers are feeling more optimistic.
Due to these improving economic trends, young job seekers have been feeling more optimistic about being able to finding employment this summer. In a survey released by Job-Applications.com, two-thirds of respondents anticipated that it would take them no more than a month to find a summer job. Sixty percent of those who participated in the poll were 23 or younger.
“The fact that two-thirds of those looking for summer jobs expect to find one in less than a month tells me that people are generally optimistic about how the economy is doing,” said Doug Crawford, president of Job-Applications.com. “I think this is encouraging news.”
3. However, for many decades, the number of teens looking for summer jobs has steadily declined.
Even though the economy is improving, not all teens are looking for summer jobs. Recent data released by the Pew Research Center shows a significant decline in teens seeking employment, starting in the 1970s. Almost 60 percent of teens had summer jobs in 1974. The number was down to less than 45 percent in 2004, after several decades of holding somewhat steady. And, by last summer, less than 35 percent of teens had summer jobs.
It’s not because teens are lazier these days though. In fact, it could be just the opposite. Today’s teens are looking for resume-padding opportunities such as internships or volunteer opportunities in greater numbers. Also, they’ve been shoved to the back of the line as older, more experienced workers are taking jobs that usually would have been reserved for teens. This is due, in large part, to the still-recovering economy.
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